As always, the waist straps, when worn, make carrying the bag a lot easier. Putting the weight on the hips rather than leveraging it all against the shoulders and upper back makes the bag feel considerably lighter. The waist straps have thick padded wings and sturdy clips. When you’re not wearing the waist straps, though, those thick wings tend to feel like they’re in the way. The straps also hang down when they’re not clipped and they can get caught on things, which is a familiar problem for users of this kind of bag. The best solution, really, is to just use the straps when you have the bag on your body.